I post the following with due acknowledgment to plagarising of Martin Luter Kings speech, and as a firm beliver in Free Enterprise, Capitalism and the Rights of Man. I do not intend to offend anybody, and in particular African Amercians in a year I suspect MLK could never have imagined could have happened, but it has!
To Be Read at the GPO
I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.
Four score years and twelve ago, a great Irishman, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Proclamation of Independence. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Irish who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their suppression and emerge in the light of freedom.
But nearly one hundred years later, the Irish are still not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Irish is still sadly crippled by the manacles of property slavery and the chains of incompetent government. One hundred years later, the Irish live on a lonely island of rising poverty and economic collapse in the midst of a vast ocean of able political leadership and economic competence. One hundred years later, having rejected the Lisbon treaty, and asserted their democratic rights to do so, the Irish now languish in the dark corners of European society, and find their selves a reject in the European land. And so we've come here today to dramatize this shameful condition.
In a sense we've come to our nation's capital to cash a cheque. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Proclamation of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every Irishman was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, men of no property, as well as men of property, would be guaranteed in “its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and all of its parts, cherishing all of the children of the nation equally” It is obvious today that Ireland has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of are concerned. Instead of honouring this sacred obligation, Ireland has given its people a bad cheque, a cheque which has come back marked "insufficient funds."
But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we've come to cash this cheque, a cheque that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice, leadership, and prosperity.
We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind our leaders of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of our democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of incompetence to the sunlit path of justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksand’s of economic injustice and collapse to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of Ireland’s children.
It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This coming winter of the people’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating spring of freedom and equality. Two thousand and eight is not an end, but a beginning. And those who hope that the Irish people needed to blow off steam and will now be content, will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. And there will be neither rest nor tranquillity in Ireland until the people are given decent, fair, and competent government, otherwise the whirlwinds of revolt will shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.
But there is something that I must say to our people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into disregard and disrespect. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of reasoned argument.
The marvellous new militancy which will engulf the Irish community must not lead us to a distrust of all those who have power, for many of those, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.
We cannot walk alone.
And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.
We cannot turn back.
There are those who are asking the devotees of Irish democracy, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Irish people are not protected from gangland crime, We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot reasonably gain lodging in the houses of the cities of Ireland. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Irish people’s basic mobility is restricted due to the lack of proper planning and development. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are educated in slum and shacks .We cannot be satisfied as long as an Irishman in London cannot vote and an Irishman in Dublin believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until "justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream."
Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.
And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream, so well known to the Irish people.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We declare the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland, and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, to be sovereign and indefeasible."
I have a dream that one day on the green hills of Kildare, the sons of former cvil servants, and of tenants and the sons of former landlords, and of the private sector will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Ireland, a state freezing with the cold of injustice, freezing with the cold of economic oppression and mismanagement, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by their class to which they were born but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one day; down in Carlow, Kerry and Cork, the people will come together, sharing their health care, their pension schemes, and their sense of justice, and fairness equally.
I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight.
This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the people of Ireland with.
With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
And this will be the day -- this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning:
Sons of the Gael! Men of the Pale!
The long watched day is breaking
The serried ranks of Inisfail
Shall set the Tyrant quaking
And if Ireland is to be a great nation, this must become true.
And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of Monaghan
Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of Kerry.
Let freedom ring from the windswept beaches of Donegal.
Let freedom ring from the flower filled Rocks of Clare.
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous bays of Cork.
But not only that:
Let freedom ring from Stone Mountains of Mayo.
Let freedom ring from Grasslands of Tipperary.
Let freedom ring from every hill and Lake of Westmeath.
From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
And when this happens, when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every county and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, Irishmen and Immigrants, Public Sector and Private, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old American African American spiritual:
Free at last! Free at last!
Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!